Kenneth Jacob Fenton, centre and flanked by lawyers Dale Marshall (left) and Chris Massey, gets into a waiting vehicle following his guilty plea on two counts relating to the death of Const. Sarah Beckett of the West Shore RCMP. Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff

Langford man pleads guilty in death of West Shore RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton pleads guilty to two counts in the death of Const. Sarah Beckett in April 2016.

After months of delays, Kenneth Jacob Fenton has plead guilty on two charges stemming from the collision that killed West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett in April of last year.

With members of Beckett’s family and some members of the West Shore RCMP detachment in attendance, Fenton plead guilty to counts of impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death Thursday morning in Western Communities Court in Colwood.

After proceedings, Fenton’s lawyer, Dale Marshall, said he expects the other three charges, including failing to stop while being pursued by a peace officer, impaired care and control causing death and knowing or ought to have known that his care and control of a vehicle caused an accident resulting in death, to be dropped.

“The Crown has control over those charges and the Crown will deal with them after sentencing. I expect that that will be the end of the matter,” Marshall said.

Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel with the B.C. prosecution service, also told reporters it’s likely the other charges will be dropped.

The guilty plea comes after months of delays in the case while the two sides continued negotiations.

“Today’s development is the result of resolution discussions which have been ongoing since an early stage in these proceedings,” McLaughlin said.

Beckett’s family members didn’t issue a statement and requested privacy.

“We have kept them apprised of all the developments during the course of these negotiations,” McLaughlin said.

A date for sentencing will be decided on June 6 in the Victoria courthouse downtown. Impaired driving causing death comes with a maximum charge of life in prison.

“It’s important to realize, however, that sentencing decisions are based entirely upon the circumstances of the individual case, the relevant case law and the personal circumstances of the accused person,” McLaughlin said. “A guilty plea is a factor to be considered when the court is assessing the appropriate sentence, to be sure.”

Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton, whose son was killed in a July 2003 crash in View Royal involving an impaired driver, was also in attendance in support of the Beckett family.

“I’ve been through stuff like this before and it takes a community effort to see them through this,” she said.

“Every day is one day forward and you find ways to find strength and carry on.”

Beckett died in the early hours of April 5 at the intersection of Peatt Road and Goldstream Avenue in Langford, after her police cruiser was struck by a pickup truck.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Category 3 fires to be prohibited in Southeast Fire District

The prohibition will take effect at noon on Wednesday, June 12

Editorial: We’re already ambassadors to our community

There are many ways to spend your extra time in Golden. Have… Continue reading

Data shows nine years of Tourism Golden growth

Tourism Golden has seen its ninth consecutive year of substantial growth in… Continue reading

Protecting small mammals after logging near Golden

A team of biologists are keeping an eye on small mammals in… Continue reading

Business profile: IGA celebrates 50 years of business in Golden

IGA has been providing the Town of Golden with their groceries for… Continue reading

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Most Read